Last month many of you chipped in (thank you) to help meet the $1,500 cost of processing an FOI request about emails sent or received by Wing Commander Vince Chong containing the words:
- Defence Gay and Lesbian Information Service
- postal survey
The reason this simple request costs so much is because there are estimated to be well over 1,000 pages of emails on Vince Chong’s Defence account containing those words.
You may wonder why so many of these emails are flying around Defence IT networks. So do I.
And they were all generated entirely between 14 August and 14 September this year.
Imagine if I had asked for all such emails sent since Chong started work as an Air Force officer. It would probably fell an entire Brazilian rainforest and halt ADF operations until approximately the next millennium rolls around.
It is worth remembering that the reason Chong has access to Defence IT systems in the first place is because he is an Air Force officer with an Air Force job running the Maritime Patrol Systems Program Office in the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group for the Department of Defence. Consequently, I still have not figured out why someone in that job would need to generate an average of 41 pages of emails each working day referencing homosexuality.
Further, if it costs over $1,500 to process this request one can only imagine how much it actually cost the taxpayer to generate, send, receive and process all these emails about homosexuality and the postal survey on Defence computer systems and presumably on Defence time. It would also seem more than likely that someone at the other end of the email was also on a Defence system and also there on Defence time.
As a result of this process we already know that Chong has been sending and receiving these emails.
And now we also know that these emails now somehow involve foreign governments or their representatives.
Just to make it clear, it is not particularly unusual that a Defence member would email a Defence member from a foreign nation. Our military relationship with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand would not work without these communications. But I see no reason for such emails to cover the world of homosexuality, homosexual activist political lobby groups or things like the marriage postal survey.
Consequently, before this FOI can be processed a foreign government now needs to be consulted.
I’ll keep you informed as the bureaucratic machine inches forward…